Published: Wed, November 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

White House expert tells hearing that Trump made improper 'demand' of Ukraine

White House expert tells hearing that Trump made improper 'demand' of Ukraine

Since then, a parade of witnesses have testified publicly and privately about what they recalled about the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine's new leader, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Lt Col Alexander Vindman was testifying before the US House intelligence committee as part of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.

Former National Security Council Russia expert Tim Morrison also testified later on Tuesday.

Army Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, whose family fled the Soviet Union four decades ago and is now a U.S. citizen, told the committee that "character attacks" against public servants testifying in the impeachment inquiry were "reprehensible".

At the inquiry's core is a July 25 telephone call in which Trump pressed Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son, a member of the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, and a discredited theory that it was Ukraine - not Russian Federation as determined by US intelligence agencies - that interfered in the 2016 USA election.

Vindman said it was "improper" for Trump to demand a foreign government investigative a United States citizen and political opponent. His testimony, summarized by a person informed about it who insisted on anonymity, will seek to reconcile his previous closed-door description of events with conflicting versions offered subsequently by other witnesses.

Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and raged on Twitter against what he calls "a witch hunt" and a "hoax".

Trump impeachment inquiry: witnesses line up for first public hearings
On the docket: House Democrats announced Tuesday night that they want to hear from eight witnesses over three days next week . Kent also addressed concerns regarding the allegations against Joe Biden that Trump had asked Ukraine to investigate.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. Trump was seeking a Ukrainian investigation of Biden and his son Hunter, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm called Burisma.

It isn't clear where the new trade deal, called the U.S. -Canada-Mexico Agreement, stands in the House.

Williams told the committee that Trump's call with Zelenskiy was unusual and inappropriate because "it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter".

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday (14 November) President Donald Trump already has admitted to bribery in the Ukraine scandal at the heart of a Democratic-led inquiry, accusing him of an impeachable offense under the US Constitution.

The president assailed her on Twitter on Sunday as a "Never Trumper" who should "work out a better presidential attack". Few Republican senators have broken with Trump.

Representative Devin Nunes, the committee's top Republican and a close Trump ally, did not address the substance of the witness testimony about the president's actions in his opening statement on Tuesday but unleashed an attack on the media, calling journalists "puppets of the Democratic Party".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday it was "inconceivable" that two-thirds of the Republican-controlled chamber would vote to convict Trump.

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